Menhaden Math: New report shows baitfish more valuable as forage than commercial catch

In an effort to protect Chesapeake Bay menhaden, which naturally improve water quality and provide forage for stripers, trout, and bluefish, recreational anglers along with other advocates have uncovered some eye-popping numbers to combat commercial fishing interests. According to a new report called Menhaden Math, commercial fishing for the baitfish generated nearly 400 jobs and about $45 million for Virginia in 2005. On the other hand, menhaden-eating gamefish create an economic effect in Virginia of about $400 million a year and support 2,543 jobs. Omega Protein, the primary commercial interest, calls it fuzzy math.